Locals assault and threaten to murder mayor who promised to welcome refugees in Roma village

A mob of locals kicked and spat at László Bogdán, the mayor of Cserdi, after the community leader suggested that he would welcome those refugee children who were not allowed to vacation in the village of Őcsény a few weeks ago. The news of Mr. Bogdán’s assault first appeared on the Facebook page of a television program called Privátszféra, which runs on the conservative HírTV cable channel. “They spat at him, they kicked him and they threatened his life. Full stop”–writes the journalist affiliated with this program. Judit Péterfi added:

“After the ‘uprising‘ in Őcsény, the mayor of Cserdi suggested that he would be happy to see those refugee families, who were not welcome in the other town. And do you know what happened after this? They wanted to run him over at a cross walk. While he took the local Gypsies under his wings and offered a helping hand to refugees, his own life became endangered. Who will defend him? What’s going on here? Please, open you eyes! I am not angry and I cannot be, because then they will have reached their goal. Nobody should be vengeful or overcome with passion. We must simply not allow for hatred to win more ground and for it to result in physical violence…My only job is to scream: if someone strikes László Bogdán with a stone, he will respond with a loaf of bread. And so will I.”

László Bogdán

Of all Roma politicians in Hungary, Mayor Bogdán has perhaps the most street credibility. He is the polar opposite of the corruption and incompetence represented by the likes of Flórián Farkas (Fidesz). But when we has was asked about credibility within the leadership of the Roma community, Mr. Bogdán said:

“It is difficult to determine what is the measure of credibility. I am neither the Dalai Lama, nor am I a Pope Francis…I merely try to offer sober messages and goals, so that people might understand that there is hope, not everything is lost.”

His methods in the village of Cserdi (population: 391 and mostly Roma) are seen as unconventional and maybe even heavy-handed, especially his approach to public safety and the problem of unemployment. But Cserdi has been an example of real solutions and integration of the Roma. Many of the local Roma work in a recently established garden and 3,500 sq. meter greenhouse, guaranteeing healthy, local produce for the community, and where the mayor personally ensures order. If any worker is late, by as little as a couple of minutes, he employs a form of public punishment. This usually involves forcing the offending employee to read a text in front of other workers.

Using public punishment is perhaps a little unusual, but Cserdi has been completely transformed under Mayor Bogdán’s watch. The village has established parks and green areas, a new playground and many of the run-down houses have been renovated. Most recently, he obtained significant funding to help ensure that Roma girls do not drop out of school. “Becoming a grandmother as age 30 or to give birth to your third baby at age 14 has nothing to do with culture,” Mayor Bogdán famously told the Hetek weekly news magazine. The mayor is looking to dedicate more resources to programs aimed at helping girls at risk of dropping out, as well as developing sex ed courses. The mayor has also aimed to motivate Roma teenagers through volunteer opportunities and training programs.

It’s remarkably unfortunate that Mr. Bogdán, who merely offered to extend compassion to refugee families, much like he has worked tirelessly to improve the lot of many in his own community, is now the target of assaults and hate.

13 Comments

  1. Aside from making this grave mistake of pronouncing himself as being pro-migrant, it sounds like the kind of leader Roma communities in Hungary could really benefit from. Too bad there are not more like him! So I guess the Hungarian Roma are not pro-Muslim colonization either? Interesting! Almost as interesting as Europe’s gay community voting for anti-migrant parties like FN in France or AfD in Germany by a higher proportion than the scores these parties obtained among the general population.

  2. @ Peter

    So what are you saying Peter , That you are happy that some of the Roma in this low income region are racist ? You like it when some of them also exhibit the same despicable, Islamophobic characteristics as white, Christian Hungarians, who are egged on by Mr. Orbán to hate refugees of color ? Waita go Gypsies, huh ? We need more of those in Hungary, huh ?

    • I am happy that some common sense is starting to prevail in Europe. Before you start with “racist” this and “racist” that, you should keep in mind that Europe is home to dozens of distinct native cultures, and as such they have the right to reject mass-colonization from another region, which just like Europe hundreds of years ago, is now demographically overflowing. It did not turn out well for the Native Americans. Do the native Europeans not have the right to reject it as well? Was Crazyhorse a “racist” for not wanting to allow European settlers on to his ancestral native lands? Let us not forget that most Europeans were also fleeing oppression, starvation, or just looking for a better life. Now the Souix, did not just protest, they shot and killed those looking to settle on their land.

  3. Pingback: Hungary: Mob Assault - rroma.org

  4. Robert Morrison says:

    András B. Göllner October 20, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Mr. Labeling Machine!

    “some of the Roma in this low income region are racist”
    “exhibit the same despicable, Islamophobic characteristics as white, Christian Hungarians”
    “Waita go Gypsies, huh”

    Bravo Professor Intellect, way to go …

    I would like to learn from you where the limit of individual or for that matter a group of people ends regarding feeling, and expressions thereof.
    “who are egged on by Mr. Orbán to hate refugees of color”
    Those low income racist Roma Gypsies have the same right to hate refugees of color as the well paid professor have the right to love them. The only difference is that the “Gypsies” are not on the payroll of OSF as your kinds are.

    “We need more of those in Hungary, huh?” Yes I take a thousand of them for one Göllner Professor any time and I still undervalued them 

  5. Robert Morrison says:

    For readers understanding Hungarian here is a link to prove that this has never happened:
    http://index.hu/belfold/2017/10/20/nem_igazan_stimmel_a_cserdi_polgarmester_inzultalasanak_sztorija
    For those who cannot read Hungarian Here is the translation of the conclusion of the article:
    “The question is that if there was nothing in the debate during a basically peaceful forum, there was nothing while the mayor leaving to hurry to the taxi, where exactly and how did he get insulted? Bogdan would be able to answer this, but unfortunately he did not answer our calls. “

  6. Pingback: Hungary’s government media discredits mayor of Cserdi, László Bogdán

  7. @ RobiMori

    Thanks for recognizing my labeling skills. Here is something for you Mr Spelling Bee. What do you get if you take the “F” out of “Bread” ?

  8. Robert Morrison says:

    András B. Göllner on October 22, 2017 at 1:48 am

    The answer to your question is:
    if you take the “F” out of “Bread” you end up with a liberal university professor on OSF payroll = labeling machine. 🙂

  9. @ Morrison

    Based on your answer, I give you an A in obsessive behavior, an F in spelling. Keep up the good work in the first subject, get a grip on yourself, and try to work on the second one. 🙂

    • Robert Morrison says:

      András B. Göllner on October 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      Andriska!

      You are in a state of serious role-confusion when you think that you can mark my behaviour or any other functioning in the society. You might reserve this to your class room if you will for those who give a damn about your markings.

  10. @ RM

    I appreciate your attempt to be chummy with me, by addressing me as Andriska. It is the name I answer to among my good Hungarian friends and this is how all members of my family address me as well. You are welcome to use this term of endearment, but I will not change the grade I gave you above.

    Troll ! Listen to “Can’t Buy My Love” by the Beatles. That may ease the pain of being such a loser, then go back to your digs in Hollán Ernő utca, to lick your wounded pride.

    Levizsgáztál Pista !

    • Robert Morrison says:

      András B. Göllner on October 26, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      OK András, I’ll be nice to you. You are right I shall leave the cozy addressing to your loved ones. So on this front you can rest assured, we have a cease fire. After all respecting each other up here (not in the pinyo thou) is important. But in return please leave Hollan Ernő utca out in respect for the memory of the victims of the Nazis and your puppet-master Mr. Soros.

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